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I thought Trump was for me. Now I’m organizing against him.

In 2018, I ended my support for Trump after a series of conversations with Sarah Silverman on Twitter. She was thoughtful and respectful and, as we spoke, my views began to shift. Eventually, I realized that this American Trumpism was wrong for America. I began to see how hateful MAGA was and I looked at myself, acknowledged my own hate, and understood this had to change. I saw how destructive Trump is for our country and understood that this was not the right way to lead America.

As the President of the United States, you are responsible for all Americans, not just your base. After my worldview changed on issues like DACA, patriotism and the Second Amendment t, I was able to see Trump’s con. He wasn’t a patriot himself — he was a five-time draft dodger and his businesses were failures, not examples of a realized American Dream. His ties to Russia led me to believe there was interference in the 2016 election, and helped me decide to no longer support Trump; the Helsinki meeting confirmed to me that I made the right decision.

But my journey didn’t stop at leaving the MAGA movement. I began to ask more questions about the world outside of my bubble, learning about police brutality, and coming to realize that white privilege does exist. I went from Tea Party to MAGA to Independent and in 2019 I registered as a Democrat. Everything that I had learned about liberal values from conservative propaganda was a lie, including harmful lies about Democratic politicians such as Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

I learned that President Obama — who is, in fact, American-born, for the record — did good for our country; he wasn’t the enemy of America. Hillary Clinton did tremendous work as a senator and as the Secretary of State, she did not do anything wrong when it came to Benghazi or her emails. She has been investigated several times, yes, but every time she has proven her innocence.

I’ve learned that the United States has racism built into its bones, even if people like me, who are privileged, don’t always see it. We can’t take what people say out of context, or believe everything reported by pundits. We have to go find and look at the facts to be able to make up our own minds.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that Democrats are not the enemy of America. Though I was taught that they are trying to take away my rights, the opposite is true; they are fighting for the rights of others.

My first piece for the Forward was the beginning of the incredible journey on which I embarked. I knew I would never win the hearts and minds of everyone, but it’s not about that. It’s about learning the truth, learning to have empathy, fighting for what’s right and for people who are less fortunate. Most importantly, it’s about electing the right leaders for our country. Now I know what I stand for.

There’s systemic racism in the police force and in the United States government. I will say out loud that Black lives matter.

I believe that freedom of speech applies to all Americans and that standing up for the Constitution is true patriotism; it’s not about standing for the flag or anthem.

I believe the Second Amendment is taken out of context and that it must be well regulated; weapons of war or weapons meant for war should not be in the hands of civilians.

Though I personally don’t like abortion, I understand that no one does. And it’s not my place to tell women what to do with their body and reproductive organs.

I believe in DACA children have the right to stay in our country and I affirm the human rights of those seeking asylum.

I accept and defend the LGBTQ community and their right to be who they are and who they choose to marry. It’s not an abomination but a blessing.

I also believe the right for all faiths to be practiced, Muslims are not terrorists and, in fact, many have contributed to our country.

I believe that every American has the right to affordable health care.

And I recognize I have a privilege and a platform which many Americans don’t. I now accept that responsibility to fight for those who are marginalized and oppressed. Now, instead of shaping my life around fighting against people, I fight for them.

Most importantly, we need to start having conversations with people of different views without labeling them as enemies. Imagine if Sarah Silverman called me a racist or misogynist — I wouldn’t be demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. The kindness she showed me has allowed me to show kindness to so many others, both personally and politically. Without her, I wouldn’t be encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I am proud to say I have already cast a vote for them myself.

David Weissman is a U.S. veteran and currently working on his associate’s degree.


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